Q. I’d like to know how you feel about being featured on the cover of NYLON.
It’s always pleasure to be featured on the magazine cover. But I’m sort of worried because I put on some weight since it is right after the Lunar New Year’s Day.
Anywho, I did some self-regulation the day before the photoshoot. I usually eat late at night, but I skipped it last night. Others might shrug off controlling night food cravings.
For me, however, it’s really something that needs a big determination. By the nature of my job, I should always keep my body in good shape and it’s quite hard.
Q. As I searched news articles about you on the Internet, ‘Slippers’ and ‘Samgyupsal’ were floating around . Do you usually look up your news articles yourself?
Thought it’s not that I deliberately look them up, a lot of people around me send me links. At that time, I just dressed casually and went out to eat Samgyupsal, which was in front of my house. But because of that news article, a lot of friends contacted me. From now on, I won’t wear slippers and go out to eat Samgyupsal in front of my house. Haha.
Q. Whenever I read such news articles, I feel that people are always judging by a strict standard which only applies to celebrities.
Yeah, I sometimes hear weird things just because I’m a celebrity. Some say to me, “Because you are a public figure, do hang out in private places and behave carefully.” For instance, pictures of celebrities being at a street stall are publicized with captions like “secret dating”. Also, if they go to fancy places, it becomes gossip.
Q. Also, there are news articles that besmear stars for nothing, just to draw people’s interest.
Yes, there are. It is a very wrong idea that you diss other people just because they are different from you. It’s never bad for a star to act like a star. So now I feel numb about such news articles dissing me. Of course, it was not easy to get over it at first. But nowadays I don’t bother paying attention to them anymore. I guess I got to have a magnanimous attitude towards such stuff.
Q. There were a lot of funny comments, too, although it was meant to be a “diss article”
I remember I laughed a good while at comments like “Is the reporter a Saseng fan?” and “Does the reporter have nothing to do?”
By my guesswork, I thought the reporter was amazed about the Rolls Royce he had not seen in his entire life and took a picture of it, and then I came out of the Samgyupsal restaurant by chance. Because if he really wanted to catch me, he’d have taken pictures of me eating Samgyusal, not the Rolls Royce.
Q. So what is “star-like” image in your opinion?
I think a star’s life should be star-like by itself. All things he does publicly or privately have to be financially worthy of the name. By doing so he can produce trendy and high quality music, noh? I will never understand why stars are to be criticized for owning a pricey, luxury car. Stars don’t have to put all the money in their bank account and live only by collecting interest. I’m not saying stars have to boast off their wealth, but they have a right to enjoy lifestyle that is commensurate with their names.
Q. It’s so great that you are doing a wide range of activities alone, namely acting, music, design, and even business.
I think I am able to engage in various fields because once I have something I like to do, I brim over with too much enthusiasm compared to average people and I’m lucky in relationship-building although I did not get professional education. The reason I am able to put my interests into action is because I can do it by lending the hands of the best experts in the fields. Let me just sum up by saying it’s because I’m particularly lucky in relationship-building. Haha.
Q. Have you ever discovered a talent or ability that you had never known that you have?
Speed reading. I hated to read books as a kid. But as I forced myself to develop the habit of reading books, I became a fast reader at some time. Maybe because of this, I am very quick to apprehend scripts.
Q. Have you ever been in anxiety or had doubts about your talents?
I’m always anxious about it. Even though I’ve tried music, acting, design, etc., things that happen newly inside these fields will still be new to me.
Q. Is there any other field you would like to challenge?
Personally I love watching variety shows. But it’s a pity that I don’t even have a chance to appear on variety shows. Aside from music and acting, I so wish I could show my cheerful character to the public. Other than this, I would like to get a cooking license. And I also hope to publish my book some time in the future.
Q. I heard you are also excellent in cooking.
Excellent? I’m embarrassed. I like eating late at night and I cook stuff myself.
I’ve once said that I’d like to have a cooking license. It’s because I want it to be my forte, not just a hobby.
Q. If you have a plan to publish your own book, you must write regularly.
I scribble down notes, but there are many times I throw them away because I don’t like them.
Instead, I write fast when it comes to lyrics, which makes me a prolific lyricist.
Q. What are your favorite words?
‘Light’ and ‘Heaven’. Both of them feel bright, but then they can also be used as a dark meaning.
If someone tell you ‘I hope you go to Heaven’, on the other hand it sounds good, but on the other hand it sounds rather scary.
I actually use these two words quite often in my lyrics.
Q. Your tattoos are very impressive. What are their meanings?
A Desire for my future self and things I want to remember. I also have Yoochun and Junsu’s names tattooed on. The tattoos on my chest are ‘Always Keep the Faith” and “Deferto Neminem” When I left SM and moved in CJeS, the first thing I thought of was “Don’t blame others”. Because back then I kept on putting others in the wrong although it could have been a situation that I made and my fault. And it distressed me so much. So I decided to have them tattooed on my body, and I started to feel comfortable as I placed all the blame on myself.
Q. It’s a big deal that you have members tattooed on your body.
Because they are the ones who I’m going to spend my whole life together. Yoochun also have stuff tattooed on, but Junsu did not. Haha.
Because he’s Christian and also his parents are strongly against it. So I said he doesn’t need to undergo tattooing since he has to coddle his body that was given by his parents but I would tattoo our names on his car. Then he said “Never on my car! I’d rather have them tattooed on my body.” Haha. You will never know how much I laughed at this.
Q. I never knew you are this good with words. It’ll be nice for you to be a radio DJ.
It will be nice if opportunities are given. But I don’t know if I can self-regulate words I speak on air. Because I tend to speak without reserve, it shouldn’t be a live broadcast but a recorded one. Right? Haha.
Q. I heard you are friends with a lot of people in the showbiz.
I’m close with Rain. We don’t talk on the phone nowadays because we are busy. But we keep in touch via Kakaotalk. And I’m also close with other actors such as Lee Jeong Jin and Park Ji Bin. We often talk about dramas and movies. Recently we watched the movie ‘The Terror Live’ and had a talk on freedom of speech. Jang Geun Seok is also my close friend. I once guested on his fanmeet. And he did too on my concert where we chatted candidly on stage and also had a game.
Q. What do you usually do when you meet your friends?
I chat a lot with Geun Seok. Because we are very chatty. Haha. I don’t talk much when I meet Geun Seok with his friends I am not acquainted with. Because I’m shy of strangers and also I don’t like to feel that I’m butting in their conversation.
Q. Is there anything you want to achieve within this year?
I could not have enough time to write music all the while. So I’ll concentrate on writing music for the whole month of March.
I just want to have some time alone. But I will never wear slippers and go out to eat Samgyupsal in front my house although I’ll take time off. Hahaha.
Q. Your latest solo album is still garnering enthusiastic responses. What do you think is the reason?
Because it was my first-ever solo album in my 10-year career, I guess.
I’m filled with emotion whenever I talk about my solo album because I challenged a rock album, deviating from the genre I had been accustomed to.
Also I feel greatly flattered that my solo album is receiving lots of love. Even if someone tells me not to be satisfied with it, I will still be gratified with it.
<WWW> is my most precious album.
Q. When do you get inspirations from?
During the photoshoot a while ago, I joked around saying “I can’t seem to write well because I’m too healthy now.”
Any artists live with void that can never be filled in. It’s been a long time since I felt empty. But It also means I’m living so entertainingly.
Q. It sounds to me like you are quite lonely.
There exists void that can never be filled in.
Even while working and living so happily, suddenly loneliness comes my way… Perhaps everyone feels the same.
Q. You are fast in writing music, right?
I’m not the type of genius. I write dozens of lyrics and imply them into one.
I think when it comes to lyrics, it’s nice that I can have a wide range of words to use.
Because no one tells me off even if I write straightforwardly or write as if I talk around something.
Writing music is really fascinating work.
Q. You also are interested in DJing, other than writing music.
When I came over Geun Seok’s house, he showed off DJing skills.
So I tried it. It was easier than I thought and I felt that it suits me.
But you know my temperament, if I start doing it, I will end up being so good at it.
So I guess I shouldn’t be too infatuated with it.
Because I’m worried that I might be a hardcore clubber going to club every day and DJing for them without charge. Haha!
Q. What does ‘fan’ mean to you?
I wish I could breathe together with them, seeing each other equally, but with manners reserved.
That’s why I tend to be talkative in my concerts. Because I love to have a heart-to-heart talk with my fans, just candidly.
Q. What do you want to say to your fans who have been constantly supporting you for 10 years?
Time flows and the world is changing. People chance and I myself also change, too. It’s not possible to stop people changing their minds.
Even so, I believe my fans who have been supporting me for 10 years will not change because their love is sincere.
This is why I also try to be sincere to my fans every moment.